Sotheby’s is the largest auctioneer to offer specialist sales of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art and offers unrivalled expertise and market intelligence in this field. Since re-introducing the sale to the London auction calendar in 2016, Sotheby’s has consistently achieved outstanding results for artists in this category; our Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art sales have consistently achieved stellar results – broken sale records and set new industry benchmarks. We champion young artists, advocate for artistic communities and believe in supporting the wider artistic and cultural ecosystem – be it artist estates, museums or the scholars who bring academic and historical depth to the category.
Sotheby’s have been gaining market share year on year, establishing London as the hub for selling art works from the MENA region. There are two sale seasons: in the fall and spring – both run online to reach the broadest global audience. Impressively, across Sotheby’s past sales in London, Doha and Dubai, 95% of lots purchased sold at or above their pre-sale estimate proving that the demand for high quality, high calibre and rare works of art are consistently growing. Sotheby’s Contemporary Art auction in Doha in April 2013 achieved $15.2 million and remains the highest ever result at auction for Contemporary Art in the Middle East. During this sale, eight artist records were established, seven of which were works by artists of Arab and Iranian origin.
Our collectors are truly global and span across six continents. Over the past five years we have seen the number of Middle Eastern based participants in our sales increase by over 50% (buyers) and over 70% (bidders). Our success in the market underscores both the expertise and strength of our team and the unparalleled, industry leading social media and marketing campaigns that support it.
In addition to auctions, through our London and Dubai offices, we conduct private sales and organise selling and non-selling exhibitions of works by contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish artists, dating from the early 20th century to the present day.